If you thought travelling from home till your workplace or till the grocery store was an arduous task, wait till you hear how much the following wildlife creature travel annually, in the quest for food, water, and lush pastures!
WILDEBEESTS – Tanzania and Kenya
One of the most spectacular events of nature, and also one of the most striking migrations on the planet, is that of the Wildebeest in Africa. Every year, almost 1.5 million wildebeest, accompanied by hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles migrate through Serengeti, Tanzania, trudging towards Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. In the pursuit for greener pastures, these animals travel almost 1,800 miles, dodging predators like leopards, lions and even crocodiles, en route!
Visit Australia’s Christmas Island during the months of October and November, and you’ll see the island covered with a crimson coloured blanket – have a closer look and you’ll notice, these are actually millions of seething red crabs migrating across the island! More than 50 million red crabs living on the island’s forested areas migrate to the coast, to lay their eggs, manoeuvring their way past the island’s roads, pavements, banks and whatever comes their way.
It is indeed astounding to watch swarms of hundreds of thousands of greater and lesser pink flamingos embarking upon a culinary tour across the alkaline lakes of Kenya’s Rift Valley. These lakes are rich in green algae, which happens to be a primary food source for the flamingos. One of the main food stops along their tour is Lake Nakuru, which comes alive with shades of pink, with an infinity of flamingos honking, flapping and feasting to their heart’s content.
One of the most vibrant and stunning migrations in the natural world is that of the monarch butterflies. Each year, more than 50 million of these colourful tiger-striped butterflies escape the cold of North America, by migrating from Canada to the warm highlands of Central Mexico. Some of the areas in Central Mexico which have been designated as butterfly sanctuaries, attract so many monarchs, that you might have a tough time spotting the tree branches under a blanket of yellow and black stripes!
CARIBOU – Alaska
As the warm summer months approach, humongous herds of almost half a million Caribou head en masse to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alaska, in what is termed as one of the greatest wildlife spectacles of all time. They spend the summers in the north, calving and grazing on the lush pastures of the Tundra, before returning back south as the first snowfall approaches. This way, these magnificent reindeers cover a distance of almost 3,000 miles annually – not to mention, evading predators like the mighty grizzlies, wolves and wolverines along the journey.